Secretogranin II (chromogranin C), originally described as tyrosine sulfated protein of the anterior pituitary, is present in large dense core vesicles of several endocrine cells and neurons. We raised antisera in rabbits to conjugates of two synthetic peptides (bovine secretogranin 133-151 and rat secretogranin 154-186) flanked in the primary structure of secretogranin II by pairs of basic residues and used them to investigate the proteolytic processing of this protein by immunoblotting and a newly developed radioimmunoassay. The sensitivity of this assay was 30 fmol for secretogranin 154-186 and 60 fmol for secretogranin 133-151. The highest degree of processing of secretogranin II (>90%) occurs in brain. One of the peptides (secretogranin 133-151) is not generated to any significant extent. The other peptide, secretogranin 154-186, however, is formed in vivo, and in brain the free peptide apparently represents the predominant form. The highest concentrations of secretogranin 154-186 are found in the hypothalamus, two- to six-fold lower levels are present in the hippocampus, caudate nucleus, thalamus and brainstem. These concentrations are comparable to those of established neuropeptides. In order to indicate the special relevance of secretogranin II and of this peptide for brain we have named this peptide secretoneurin. The newly developed radioimmunoassay for this peptide will be a useful tool to establish its physiologic role in brain.
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